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Full text of "Verdict On India"

VKKmCl   OX   INDIA
*I have been f>i:t he-re far too long/ That is one of the favourite
phrase^ of the Anglo-Indian girl. "IVe absolutely lost touch with
home." They have never been "home" tit all, poor creatures, but
they would die rather than admit ii.
'I have Spanish blood in, niy veins." Thai i> another favourite.
It helps to account for the dark skin and the black hair. Some
girls even pick up little Spanish phrases which they introduce into
their conversation. They tell you that they learned them from
their grandmothers.
'Four shades whiter in four week* !" So run the headlines of
one of the innumerable advertisements for skin whitening pro-
ducts. The Anglo-Indian girls spend a large proportion of their
incomes on the.se preparations, which are marketed with great
ingenuity. £ Don't for one moment imagine that because you were
born with a dark skin you can do nothing about it/ proclaims
the inventor of a popular bleacher. "The technique of beauty
treatment has been revolutionized with the introduction of X...
the skin tonic which acts scientifically on the pigment cells.'
I am not qualified to comment on the efficacy of thesj produc-
tions, but even if they do all that is claimed for them, the Anglo-
Indian girl would still be easy to *spot.' For instance, she cannot
disguise her voice : it has a curiously shrill 'overtone/ particularly
when she laughs. And though slic may be a natural blonde, there
is always a tawny shadow to her skin, as though there were honey
in her veins. Sometimes it is very beautiful, like ivory by candle
light, but it is emphatically of the East*
The great ambition of these girls is to marry an Englishman—
by hook or by crook—to be taken out of the country, anywhere,
anyhow, as long as they can escape from the dubious half-way
house in which life has cast them. Since the war this ambition
has naturally been enormously stimulated. British and American
soldiers have been besieged by offers of marriage, often accom-
panied by considerable cash inducements.
One cannot blame the girl who makes such an offer—particu-
larly if she has a little imagination, and realizes that otherwise
her road must inevitably lie downhill. She has seen the fate of
her sister who has not achieved matrimony with a white man ; it
is not pleasant. It is either a lonely spinsterhood, with pride as a